I love Wagon Wheels.
I hadn’t been to a yoga class in weeks. Not that I hadn’t been practising yoga, but after another pandemic lockdown, I was glad to go out — anywhere. So here I was again at what had once been a weekly activity and very happy about it. This yoga school is run by two best friends Melissa and Michelle, who I initially met when I first became interested in yoga 20 years ago.
While we’d all been “locked up”, Melissa had one of the big birthdays and “Wagon Wheels” had featured in Michelle gifts. Now the “Wagon Wheel” is a classic treat consisting of two biscuits with marshmallow sandwich filling, covered in a chocolate-flavoured coating and is sold in most English-speaking countries in the Commonwealth. And have been doing so since 1948. So I was surprised to find out they sold in India. Biscuits, chocolate, mash mellow – what’s not to like. I spent my school lunchtimes glorying in the delights of this wonderful treat with some of my closest friends. Some of those friends are now expat Australian’s who require regular “wagon wheel” care packages any time they return “home”.
Melissa (who had worked for Cadbury’s) and I went on a reminiscing adventure going through our list of childhood cakes and biscuits. We laughed at how we always knew when our parents had people coming over if chocolate biscuits were in the cupboard. Michelle chimed in with the all-time Australian/New Zealand classic — “Fairy Bread”, which even now is a go-to treat if she is feeling a little low. She finds the whole process of making the “Fairy Bread” quite therapeutic. Again, for those who don’t know — Fairy bread is sliced white bread spread with butter or margarine and covered with “Hundreds and Thousands”, typically cut into triangles. And if you don’t know what “hundreds and thousands” are…well… you can look it up — suffice to say they make a plain piece of bread look pretty spectacular. There is also some dispute about should the ‘crusts’ be left on or cut off? Michelle is very much a crust off type.
Of course, this discussion got the class involved in what had started as a sober conversation about vaccines, lockdowns, the lack of work, and the general malaise of the world. Even after the class, Michelle was still smiling about her “fairy bread”. Mind you; a great class did help.
It is all too easy to get bogged down in the day to day and the seemingly endless supply of bad news and we find ourselves spiralling down where it is all too comfortable to forget how good life can feel. Once there, it is sometimes a little difficult to recognize we are there and find a way out.
So, in the spirit of feeling good, here are three suggestions of activities that I have observed that makes everyone feel good. They will lift spirits and put a smile on your face. Don’t worry; they are not complicated — there is no need to sit in the corner and chant “Om Mani Padme Hum” either. You can do any one of these three easily, and your day will feel better. So, if you’re keen, do all three. They won’t take much time, and some of them will have you feeling fantastic for days. One of them will take you less than two minutes. It can be done before you even finished reading, and you’ll be laughing. But you will have to read a bit more to get to that one…. Or course, you could cheat and go to number three.
Number 1 — Wash and Vacuum Your Car
Yes, that’s right, wash the car, if you can, do it today.
We all know what it is like to sit in a new car. We know the smell; we know the feeling. We know what it is like to get into a clean rental car. So why not give yourself a treat — a clean car that you own. Sure, you can pay someone to do it; watch them do the hard work while you sit back madly scrolling through your social media feeds while you sip a coffee. It is better than nothing. But doing it yourself somehow takes it to a new level. A clean car will always make your day better. And as we all know, they even drive better when they’re clean.
I’ve been washing cars since I was nine years old. It was how I made my pocket money for the week. It is the first thing I do when I get another car. I give it a wash and vacuum. Make the car, mine, right from the get-go. I’m a bit crazy. I even wash it in bare feet, and yes, even in winter. Mind you, I don’t have to worry about snow… so maybe I’d change my mind. But it makes me feel good, more connected. And after I saw the movie “Earthing” — I understood why. Try it. You might still think I’m crazy, but at least you will have something else to laugh about.
And don’t skip the vacuuming. It gets rid of all that stagnate feeling energy, and you will feel fresh and alive every time you get into it over the next few days. Okay, it might rain in the next few days — but a clean car getting wet is still better than a dirty one. And then the great thing is its easier to clean the next time.
It is simple and easy to do — about 30 minutes will do it. Your mental health will be better; your car is safer — (you can see through the windscreen), protecting your investment. Who knew that a bit of soap and a vac could be that potent? I hope I’ve sold you on the idea. And you can do this for yourself today. Yeah!
Number 2. Throw Something Out.
Anything will do. Most of us have a whole bin of rubbish somewhere, clutter just hanging around it’s time to get rid of it. It weighs you down mentally and is often a semi-conscious thing on our to-do list that holds us back and, in the end, makes us feel bad. So why not Do it now? However, I’m going to suggest you do something more specific. I wrote about this in the article “The Secret Of Letting Go”. Now to make yourself feel good today, you don’t need to go all out, as I mention in that post, but if you get excited, go for it.
Go to your wardrobe. Find at least one piece of clothing you haven’t worn for a year and throw it out; Or perhaps give it to a worthwhile charity — but get rid of it. Of course, there will be clothing that you are afraid to throw out because “what if I need it for…?” or it is too good to throw away. But hey, you’re not wearing it — get rid of it. You don’t need it… if you did, it would have been used. It is just bogging you down, and there is a good chance if you wore it sometime in the future, it would make you look older and somewhat out of date. And let’s face it, who needs that?
Do a mini spring-clean and get rid of it — you’ll feel better — I know I did.
Number 3. Yell
NO! — not at your dog, partner, or kids — so don’t get excited. And I’m not giving you permission to go rogue. I have Col Berry, a friend, and a great man — to thank for this one. And this is one you can do right now, no matter where you are, who you’re with — they might even fill better too.
It will at least get attention.
Col invited me years ago to what now has the popular term a networking event. Back then was just a group of businesspeople getting together to share their skills—a SWAP group that translates to sales with a purpose — or at least something close to that.
They started each meeting this way and suggested it was a great way to start the day. And it is. I know the days I have started this way, I am getting going early and with more enthusiasm. But, the best part is it’s just seven words, and you can do it any time.
Here they are…
Oh yes, you must stand up and yell them at the top of your voice three times while you punch the air. And it doesn’t matter what your personality is — we all scream for our sports teams — so yell for “you”.
Go for it!!
“I’m alive! I’m Well! I Feel Great!”
“I’m alive! I’m Well! I Feel Great!”
“I’m alive! I’m Well! I Feel Great!”
Feel better now? — Maybe a little silly? But if you’re in an office and you did it, your office will be very much alive now, and I reckon everyone is feeling a little better even if they wonder what the heck is going on. And even if you only read this — you’ll have a smile on your face. Am I right?
Go on give it a go… it’s the easiest and fastest way to feeling better than you did just a minute ago.
In her new book “The Joy of Movement” Kelly McGonigal looks at all the ways movement changes our brain and how we feel. If we pick a movement that we like that suits us, this makes a big difference in how we feel and how our life works out.
So look at the three suggestions all have movement in them — to use the old Churchill maximum, take “Action this Day.”
Go for it — pick one — or all three if you are so inclined; they are easy and fun to do, and you’ll feel better, I guarantee it.
Till next time….keep smiling!
Resources & Further Reading
“Psychologist’s REVEAL The 6 Steps To CHANGE Your Life COMPLETELY!” — Rangan Chatterjee
“The Joy of Movement” — Kelly McGonigal